Stephan J. Hahn

Father. Author.

All The Hullabaloo

Many things have been happening lately in my life that have made me busier. Is that even possible? Yes. Sadly, it is very possible. Not all of it is necessarily negative. My home life is beginning to round out, for example. We found out recently that our newest edition to the family coming in January will be a boy. Harrison Clark, in case you were wondering. Which I knew you were. Not only that, but we found a house to move to. I don't mind a good town home, but when there are people flanking you day and night, it can get a bit annoying. So, a new baby and a new house. These are very exciting things. But what about the rest? Well, I can tell you that moving and taking care of a baby are jobs within themselves.  
 
We also have to account for my writing. I can say that with all of the hullabaloo, I haven't quite been able to write as much as I have wanted to. Super Dad man is written and ready to go, I am just waiting on my illustrations to finish it out. I feel good about it. It is a simple book for a child to read and enjoy. I cannot wait to get it out to everyone. I may be more excited about it, than I was about A Father's Guide. 
 
On that same thought, The Pearls of Solus series is going well, also. I am about 75% done with the story, which is really overestimating it, because I haven't accounted for all of the revisions and editing. There is probably a bit more left to do for a final and polished story, but from a simple story telling perspective, we are looking at around 75%. That is a good number. I feel really confidant in saying it. 
 
I also would like to thank my readers who have been getting my blog and reading it. At least I think they are actually reading it, though. I am getting "likes" so either they are reading it, or randomly liking things. I do have a monthly newsletter that I am working on getting out to everyone who is subscribing, so make sure you are checking for that. It will be here before you know it. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Also, there is Goodreads. 
 
Speaking of Goodreads, I thought I would take some time to talk about the books that I have been reading lately. I feel like for a writer, reading is also a very important part of their lives too. I recently finished up the Harry Potter series, which leaves a dent that is hart to fill in the world of literature. I started the Lord of the Rings series now, and hopefully I can get through it just as easily. I love series, I just hate when they end. I am starting old school, though. All the way back at the Silmarillion. If you are lost, it is the story of the beginnings of Middle Earth, and how everything was created and came into being. It is lore-heavy and can get confusing, but nevertheless is an amazing read. 
 
I am also currently reading Bridge of Spies, by Giles Whittell. I love this because I love history. I am a big fan of intertwining storylines and the surprises that they bring. There are many in this story and it is a great read if you are looking for a historical thriller of sorts. 
 
Make sure you take the time to enjoy your life no matter how hectic it has become. 
 

Stephan J. Hahn

He/She Who Has Not Been Named Yet

I want to take a moment away from being an author today and talk about being a father. I am a father of three: Samuel, Brooklyn, and one the way. I would tell you his/her name, but we find out Friday. If your family is anything like my family, then information passes across the universe at light speed. So, you can understand why we haven’t openly publicized our possible baby names. Nevertheless, our children sound funny trying to say the names we have picked out, which is a necessary requirement we want in a name.

My children have pushed me to be a writer. I wanted to write before I had children, but when it comes down to it, I didn’t self-publish anything until they came along. A Father’s Guide is about them and the craziness in raising children. So, I blame them for that.

Now that I have yet another one on the way, I feel I have another reason to write and make sure I can make life all that it is. Your children count on you for everything. I miss my children when I am at work. Even though I know that I will see them when I get home, I still miss them. I suppose that is why I bring Sam with me to work when I can. They drive me absolutely up a wall, but I don’t know what I would do without them.

It makes sense that they would be my reason for getting back into writing. I mean all of the late nights and early mornings with them. It feels like I would be spending that time sleeping or doing other things. Just like my children’s book I am writing, Super Dad Man. I want my son to be able to read and enjoy a book, so I wrote one for him.

They also give me a fresh perspective. They allow you to write with emotion and to really learn to care about certain characters. The Pearls of Solus Series I am writing center around younger main characters, which are still new to adulthood. They are finding their way in a world they are not ready for. They are finding out who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing.

This is the ultimate goal for any child.

I am so proud and excited to be a father, and I can’t wait for January when my new baby is born. Two children have turned my world upside down; I can only imagine what three are going to do to me. All I can say is that I hope the one thing they do wind up doing is making me a better father and husband.

In what ways have your children influenced your passions and lives?

Stephan J. Hahn

The End

I believe that one of the hardest things in the world to do is write the ending of a book. How do you conclude a novel, or even a series in a way that will not only impress your readers but yourself? This is something that I have been focusing on the last couple of days as I continue to write and plan my Pearls of Solus series. 

I am concerned with the ending, just as any author should be. I know how it ends, but I have not specifically written the ending. Just as I know that characters are going to die. I have created a world which is beginning to be torn apart from war and discord. There are going to be deaths. How do you kill a character that you have become attached to? 

I outline my books, I always do. It is a short and less detailed outline, but I do it that way because much of what I create comes from writing on a whim. I could sit down and plan every single scene out in detail, but my imagination doesn't work that way.  

I just start writing. 

Some of my best and most interesting ideas have come to me as I was writing a chapter where I didn't know where it was going. Small specific details that you couldn't think of if you tried. I am getting better at typing without looking at the keyboard because I will close my eyes and imagine what is happening in my story. I want to see it. I want to feel it. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever read involved putting emotion into your story. 

You must be emotionally attached to your characters and your story. 

The truth is simple. If you don't care about the small emotional details, neither will your readers. You must make your characters human, they must have faults and weaknesses. Failing is never the goal, but what your character does after they fail to make up for it, now that is a story worth telling. 

I generally don't get into the habit of writing my ending before it happens, that way I can write it in the moment. I can also see the benefits to having a better outlined ending, such as having a more detailed story line to follow. I don't want to shackle myself to an ending, however, a story is a living and breathing entity. It can change with the authors mood on any given day. Maybe your story is beginning to develop in a different way, demanding a different outcome. 

The way you write is completely up to you. It all depends on the type of story you are telling. You should not be locked in to an ending, you have to give your story plenty of room to develop. 

Should you write the ending to your book first, so you can come to terms with where it is going? 

 

Stephan J. Hahn

Fourth Times the Charm

I realized something, just the other day. If you have a blog, you must really enjoy writing. Think about it. You write on social media. You write your books. You pour yourself out into a novel. And then, you dig down deep inside and are able to pull out a blog. It is almost irrational to think about. I know I enjoy writing. Well, I enjoy talking. Possibly babbling (as my wife would say). Even if you are the only one talking, as long as you have one person listening, you are doing something right.

As many of you know, I have a book out entitled: A Father’s Guide: When Children Fall Uncomfortably Close to the Tree. I love my children. But I am always astounded at the fact of how much they love me. They need us as parents to be the constant in their lives. Writing about my children was exhilarating because I got a chance to relive many experiences that made me a father, but also experiences that made my children who they are today.

I also have a few other books in the works, and these are not long or judgmental. They are not odious novels, they are children’s books. Something your children (assuming they are at a point where they read) should be able to ready by themselves, and hopefully enjoy.

Super Dad Man

This book comes from a chapter in my book: A Father’s Guide with the same name. It explores this idea that parents are super heroes whether we want to admit it or not. We will do small things for our children, such as making dinner or tying shoes and our children think we are the most amazing thing ever. And let’s face it. You are. You have to be. So, you may just as well embrace it. And don’t worry moms. This is simply a title I chose because I am a dad. There is always room for a super mom, as you will undoubtedly see in my book. I plan on having this one out before the end of the year.

The Very Unscary Monster

This book was inspired by my son, who recently discovered that too many scary stories or movies will have an effect on you when it is time to go to bed. For so long he was afraid to sleep in the dark, or go upstairs by himself. This is understandable, but as adults we know this is not true. Monsters don’t exist. But fear of the unknown does. When I wrote this book my goal was to take the fear away by making monsters seem less scary, or perhaps unscary if you will. I am hoping to have it out by the spring of next year.

In case you are wondering, my sister, Susannah has been doing illustrations for my books. If you enjoy them, make sure to thank her.

I am excited at what the future holds for my children, and am so glad I get to write about it. It makes it mean so much more. It keeps it archived. Something easily remembered. I enjoy the idea that I am able to hold on to these stories. And come to think about it, they will make for good embarrassing stories when they get older. What are we as parents if we can’t embarrass our children on a whim?

Are there any kinds of children’s books you would like to see written? Is there a topic that is rarely touched that should be explored?
 

The Soul of Winter

I love fall and the winter. I can honestly say that it is probably my favorite time. There is just something about that time of year that just makes me happier than the rest. I think of bonfires and hayrides. Chilly nights and calm breezes. Leaves on the ground. Snow. Just thinking of it now makes me miss it. It is, however, August. We are getting close.

I found this when I was looking through some of my older materials, and since I have been thinking of winter, I thought I would share it with you.

The Soul of Winter (Circa 2012)

The morning air is frigid and fierce. It hits you like a hurricane as you walk outside. Clouds roll though the sky blocking out the suns blasphemous rays. Darkness covers the countryside, as the birds call from the heavens, rushing for the warm south. Everyone is home. Everyone is warm and comfortable, save you. Leaves slowly fall, nestling their crisp frail bodies on the nearest frozen surface. Time is still.

Everything is still. Waiting.

Capturing the cold air through your nose, and expelling the breath with a puff of a what seems to be smoke. Too long and your fingers begin to go numb. Nose, ears, are already there. Something is coming. Your heart leaps as the first small flake slowly caresses its way through the sky, coming to a still on the palm of your frozen outstretched hand. Quickly melting away, you sigh. Then another, from seemingly the heavens, follows the same path.

Time is of the essence. Too many days and things will fade to clear skies. Melting snow gives way to green grass and feathered trees. You walk slow, sure to grasp every single moment of winter. Glancing to the left you see impressions in the ground such as the fallen angels may have made. To the right, your neighbor cursing as he scrapes the troublesome ice off of his windshield. You opt to walk, for this will only be but a season. A frame of time in your life.

People watch from the warm houses, as you push through the snow, barley noticing your toes losing feeling. You are home. This white wilderness is yours. Time stands still as you simply watch the snow falling, landing with ease on the ground. The holes you feet have made filling up behind you as you walk. You may lose your way back, but the pull of your heart allows that thought to lapse. You cannot lose your way back from home.

Laying down, atop a hill, letting the snow hit your face at its own grace. Minutes pass. Hours. Staring at the sky, wishing this to last forever. Night begins to fall as you make your way back. Passing those in their homes who have never really lived.

Kicking your shoes off at the door, you make first for the hot chocolate on the stove, sipping it slowly not to burn yourself. Hot in your hand, yet the season it remains. Curling up at the bay window in the front room, aside the crackling fire in the hearth, you stare longingly out the window. Your heart is warm with happiness, yet your soul left you at the door, he longs to wonder the wilderness as a vagabond.

In the morn you will meet again. A love stronger than a prayer. You hold hope for the next day waiting to meet your other half in the snow amongst the naked trees. Alone but not. A paradise. Forever he awaits you. You and only you. You are the body which holds the bloom of winter. You are the hope of a new day.

Ever to wait in the wilderness for his true love in the snow. Holding onto the moment whence he will see your bright face. Waiting.

Never leaving. Always with you.

Stephan J. Hahn

The Pun Enthusiast

I think it is only fair to take a step back and learn a little about who I am, and how I came to write books. My first blog was kind of an overview, a history if you must. I told you about my writing beginnings in junior high, and I also told you about the authors and genres which have influenced me thus far in my career. 
 
First and foremost, I am a father. My family and I live in the Ozarks (which is in the southwest part of Missouri). We moved from Ohio way back in 1999. Remember 1999? It was the year that my Titans lost the Super Bowl by one yard, and have seemingly spent the last eighteen seasons in a rebuilding phase. I wish I could tell you how many early draft picks you need to make a team good, but I don’t know. I digress. 
 
Before that my family lived in Virginia. Finally, the epicenter of my birth, North Carolina. My parents were both in the Marines, in case you were unaware that Cherry Point, NC was a naval base. 
 
I have a wife, named Kendra. I also have two naughty children, Sam and Brooklyn. I say naughty, but my children are simply acting their age. They are what keeps me going. My wife tells me also that there is one on the way. If you think two children is fun, I suppose it can only get better with three. By doing this, however, I will regain my place atop the "favorite child mountain." I am currently the only child to give my mom three grandbabies, and I will hold this title dear to my heart as long as I possibly can. 
 
I love being a father more than anything. 
 
I am the second oldest of six. Yes, six. That is a lot of children to be running around a house. We are all two years apart, and all of us are adults now, so I suppose we are not still running around the house. I currently attend Missouri State University pursuing a Business degree, and I work in an accounting office. 
 
You may notice that I wrote a parenting book. You also may have noticed that I have other books in the works that are not along the same lines. I know you did because you took the time to visit my website and selflessly spread the word about your new favorite author. 
 
I am hoping anyways. 
 
Super Dad Man is inspired by my book A Father's Guide, and the name comes from one of the chapters of that book. The Pearls of Solus series, on the other hand, is a fantasy adventure series. I chose not to be defined by a genre, because my interests are so wide I cannot possibly express them all within the confines of a single genre. I also have many ideas for other works including horror and post-apocalypse. It is safe to say you can expect a variety of books from me in the future. 
 
I am so excited to be writing again, and so excited for what the future holds. 
 
So, how did you come across my work? What interested you about my books? 
 
 
If you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask. I am an open book (no pun intended). For more information, you can visit my website at www.stephanjhahn.com for my monthly author newsletter or follow me on Goodreads.

The Maiden Voyage

When I first started writing, I didn’t want to have a blog.  

I didn’t know if I could find new and interesting things to write about, and share with my readers. I made a point just then, to myself without realizing it, though. The phrase “My Readers.” I wouldn’t be an author or a writer without readers and followers. I would be, but in a weird way. I didn't want a journal. I want to write for myself, because I love writing, but it is truly my readers who will make or break me as an author. 

Please make me. 

I used to write. When I was in junior high was the first time I can remember writing a story. And I loved it. My friend and I started writing a book together. I honestly can’t remember what it was even about, but I remember the opening line like it was yesterday. 

Vroom! A missile whizzed down the tunnel just missing their heads. 

I know what you are thinking. I used the word “vroom” and actually spelled it out. Cut me some slack, I was in junior high. Looking back on it, it almost reminds me of the old Batman TV show were the words like "POW" and "WHAM" would show up on the screen as they fought the bad guys. I know that the reason I did this was because I wanted to hook my readers. Right there at the beginning. I wanted them to be like, “Whoa. This got intense fast.” 

I was new to writing, but I knew that it was the effect that I was going for. 

I can’t tell you what happened to that story, but it was supposed to be something of a war story. One of my all-time favorite books is For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. I suppose I was inspired by his take on the Spanish Civil War. 

I remember discussing this book with my high school English teacher. I was convinced that Halle Berry would play an amazing Maria, if it would ever make it into a current movie.   

It was something about the way that Hemingway wrote that just captured me. I can be easily distracted and sometimes I find reading a book difficult if it is not absolutely captivating. You may ask yourself, how is The Old Man and the Sea captivating? 

Honestly? I have no idea. But I loved it. 

I would read stories such as C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters or Edgar Allen Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum and not fully grasp the importance of what I was reading, or the impact these authors had in their genre. 

And how can you not read the Harry Potter series and not be enchanted and moved by such an imaginative world? Or even journey across Middle Earth with Tolkien and not splendor at the lore and history he created? 

I know I want to be captivating. 

Maybe that is why I chose to start writing again. I want to be imaginative and exciting. I want to tell a story. I want to create a world, and amaze a generation. I want to leave a piece of me here when I am gone. 

But most of all I want to be captivating. 

 

Stephan J. Hahn